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The Evolution of AtheismThe Politics of a Modern Movement$
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Stephen LeDrew

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190225179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190225179.001.0001

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The Atheist Right

The Atheist Right

Chapter:
(p.178) 7 The Atheist Right
Source:
The Evolution of Atheism
Author(s):

Stephen LeDrew

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190225179.003.0008

This chapter argues that a right-wing movement within atheism is evident in three major areas of politics: foreign relations, economics, and gender. Opposition to the “atheist Right,” particularly on the issue of gender, produced a reaction by a group of self-described feminist atheists who called attention to misogyny in the movement. This resulted in the emergence of another group seeking to tie scientific atheism to feminism and a movement for social justice, which is opposed by libertarians who consider atheism to be a movement for scientific authority, and individual and economic liberty. This polarization has produced an evolutionary moment in atheism, as it produces distinct new forms: the atheist Right, and scientific atheists for social justice. The atheist Right illustrates the secular movement’s relationship to the Christian Right. Both are fundamentalisms that advance a reactionary political ideology, and despite their apparent conflict, they pursue goals that sometimes overlap.

Keywords:   feminism, atheism, libertarians, gender, social justice

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